Finishing the Journey – How Change Management Helped Kenway Drive Organizational Transformation
A Kenway client in the energy industry needed help in an enterprise transformation initiative involving IT projects spanning various business units across the organization. Following various acquisitions, the organization’s business units were all operating independently; each group followed their own individual IT guidelines for budget, processes and templates. With the overall goal to improve all IT projects’ efficiency to support the business users, Kenway was tasked with helping to bring consistent processes and oversight by creating standard metrics and deliverables that would help achieve this goal.
Working in partnership with our clients, Kenway helped enforce the strategic direction created by the new organization to deliver efficiency and oversight to IT project processes. By standardizing the organization’s methodology surrounding project management, IT governance, project portfolio oversight and change management, Kenway was able to help lay the foundation for a repeatable IT delivery infrastructure that also allowed for insightful project evaluation.
A large portion of Kenway’s effort involved getting in-flight projects up to speed on the new, required processes and deliverables. At the heart of this was the goal of making sure project owners were versed in the new processes and informed of what was required of them. This took considerable planning, communication and touch points from both our clients and the Kenway team. We weren’t only asking project owners to simply fill in one extra line on a form, we were transforming the entire way they executed and completed projects. This required substantial change management, which depended on successful communication. This communication included:
- Emails and Newsletters: We used a targeted approach to reach out to the project owners about upcoming changes, broader communications to inform the organization about the initiative and executive-level emails to communicate updates about our progress. This was an easy way to keep people up-to-date on the impacts of our project on their day-to-day responsibilities. The key to our success was that we did not send a single, informal email blast to the entire company. Instead, we segmented users and created targeted communications based on whether the group had specific action items, was comprised of stakeholders or simply needed to be informed.
- Training: The project team conducted online webinars and provided in-person office hours for the affected project owners. The online sessions were focused on training project owners about the new processes and needed to accommodate multiple schedules across different time zones. We also offered in-person and online office hours to help answer any questions that came up in the training or once the project owners started working hands-on with the tool.
- Documentation: We first created job aids for the various processes. From there, we iterated with the project owners to make sure the instructions that we were providing to users were clear, up-to-date and complete. We revisited these job aids to make sure we weren’t pushing out redundant information, allowing the materials to provide the most value. We also began developing a playbook to document all of the changes we implemented from start to finish so that the business users would have a comprehensive view of the program.
Ultimately, the program was successful because our clients had a vision that added significant value to the organization; this vision aligned with the strategic business goals of the company and there was a plan put in place to execute this change. This vision was adopted successfully because a clear communications and engagement plan supported the strategy. While the business strategy behind organizational initiatives gets early buy-in from the business owners and sponsors, it’s important not to forget that change management is where you get stakeholders and direct users on board with the program as well. It’s through this hands-on, clear information sharing and support when transformation in organizations takes hold and flourishes.